Leeds: Phil Hay would be surprised if Maximilian Wober plays this weekend
Phil Hay has admitted he would be surprised to see Maximilian Wober fit and playing for Leeds United this weekend.
The Lowdown: It’s a must-win fixture
Leeds have found themselves in an almost identical situation as last weekend with the Whites heading into a game they simply have to win, although they’ll want a better result than against Everton.
Having someone such as Javi Gracia at the helm may well give them a boost mentally and also hand them a chance to get the better of Southampton tactically given how inexperienced Ruben Selles is compared to the Leeds boss.
If Leeds were to lose this weekend then they could well find themselves propping up the rest of the Premier League table – which would be simply unthinkable – so Gracia must get his team selection and tactics spot on but will seemingly have to win without £11 million defender Wober.
The Latest: Wober to miss Saints clash
Wober was subbed off at half time against Everton last week with a shoulder issue and Hay has claimed on The Phil Hay Show that he doesn’t expect the Austrian to have recovered quickly enough to play on Saturday.
He said: (52:35) “I would be surprised if Wober is involved. He obviously had his shoulder injury which we saw him on the pitch try and pop it back in and he played on until half time but he did not look comfortable.
“He didn’t have a good game and I don’t know if that was because it was affecting him and awkward to play with but I’d be surprised if he was involved.”
The Verdict: Gracia must get off to a good start
While Gracia won’t have likely made any pre-judgements on the Leeds players but to be without a January signing and an Austrian international will undoubtedly be a blow for the new manager.
Wober had seemingly established himself as a regular since joining Leeds having started each of the last five Premier League fixtures, but to now be out injured when a new manager arrives is very rotten luck.
Gracia will know that if he loses at Elland Road against bottom-of-the-league Southampton then it may well be difficult for him to win over the Leeds faithful, so this is simply the biggest game of the season already for the Spaniard.